Living the Writer's Life: David Pederson
SoCal Copywriter in Cybersecurity Writes from a Personal Paradise

Writer David Pederson working as a cybersecurity copywriter at his desk Southern California
David Pederson works as a cybersecurity copywriter from his own personal paradise — Southern California.

David Pederson is proud to live in the land of cowboys, bandits, and bankers … also known as SoCal. He found the world of copywriting through a desperate attempt to keep his job as a database administrator trying to persuade high-level executives to sign off on multimillion-dollar projects. Today, he uses those powers of persuasion to write in the health care and cybersecurity sectors. When asked about his dream location to live and work, David simply replied, “I’m here, writing to you from it.”

How did you get into copywriting?

Copywriting happened out of my fear of failure. In 2000 I came to the USA under NAFTA as a database administrator in the financial sector. I didn’t expect to fall in love with Southern California, but I did. I didn’t want to leave, so I worked my butt off to make sure my employer would want to renew my temporary visa each year.

I needed to present plans to stakeholders and get them to sign off on projects with price tags in the eight-figure range. Driving on the 405 at 1 a.m. one night, I wondered about the billboards whizzing past me. How did they hook clients? That was when I discovered Scientific Advertising, then Schwartz, and finally, Makepeace. Researching him led me right to AWAI.

AWAI turned me around to see how to weave emotion, logic, and proof together and then ask to get the signatures I needed. It was not long before I loved going into a room and seeing stakeholders nodding instead of shaking their heads. It would be five years and a green card before I became a full-time copywriter. I found the freedom to have fun.

And I owe that freedom to AWAI.

What kinds of clients and projects do you enjoy the most?

My clients are modern cowboys, bandits, and bankers, and the projects I take on buck the norms. I love projects that challenge health care the most.

These days I enjoy writing on cybersecurity because it gives me an adrenaline boost when a hospital wins against a cyber-bandit. I also write in managed IT services for private equity and hedge funds only because they ground me in the fact we are more than cowboys living in a modern Western.

Do you have any productivity hacks to help you stay motivated and productive?

Yes. And it’s short. Find story.

I’m motivated by finding a real story — the conflict, the gap, and, most importantly, the subtext. Finding that moment that builds anticipation and pulls out the reader’s gasp is what I believe we are really about. Story is complex and takes all our attention to do well.

Story is my only motivating productivity hack for copywriters. I desire it, seek it, and love it when I find it. The rest is skill and technique. If every copywriter sought only to use fundamental story principles to write the truth, the change we desire would become the reality we see.

What’s your favorite part of your writer’s life?

Writer David Pederson outside The Voice studio in SoCal
David enjoys exploring
The Voice studio in SoCal.

I’m a people watcher, and when I meet them, I still fawn over them — I love making the real hero the plumber when working with lawyers. I enjoy myself when I meet someone who is high and needs to talk nonstop about his obsession du jour. I make friends with those who love meeting people who are not like me.

Not until I was a writer was that world open to me. I seek out the people next door or down the street. I love talking to the guy who needs a shower and a better shopping cart, because he has a story I would not know otherwise.

I am free to see everything that is right here in LA. It’s all about learning to open our eyes, but when we do, man — what a feeling! That is the gift of the writer’s life.

What fun hobbies or passions do you pursue?

I’m a … and yes, I know, sad, but true … a Disneyland nut. We go there on weekends, sometimes in the evenings, and occasionally during a rough day to shake off stress. If expected attendance numbers are too high for the weekend, we go hiking.

We live in the part of LA where the movie ranches began and where films and TV shows are still shot.

David's Living The Writer's Life story was originally published in Barefoot Writer. To learn more about how you can start living your dream writer's life too, click here.

What help do you need to move forward with your version of the writer’s life? Let us know in the comments below so we can help guide you in the right direction.

The Barefoot Writer

The Barefoot Writer

Discover a lucrative style of writing that will give you as much freedom as you can have while earning a great income at the same time. Learn More »

Click to Rate:
Average: 4.8
Published: July 30, 2022

2 Responses to “Living the Writer's Life: David Pederson”

  1. David, You sound like you might live in or near my neck of the woods, the San Fernando Valley. I too seek out the spots where films were made. Just found the old back lot where Scarlet O'Hara raises her fist in the dawn of a San Fernando aka Georgia morning vowing, "I'll never be hungry again!"


  2. Oh Man! This is the life I seek! To be able to write from my own special part of paradise and do what I want, when I want with whomever I want. I just can not wait! To be free financially! ANd, I must say, David? I Love your office!! Wow! Very cool man!

    Sincerely, Todd


Guest, Add a Comment
Please Note: Your comments will be seen by all visitors.

You are commenting as a guest. If you’re an AWAI Member, Login to myAWAI for easier commenting, email alerts, and more!

(If you don’t yet have an AWAI Member account, you can create one for free.)

This name will appear next to your comment.

Your email is required but will not be displayed.

Text only. Your comment may be trimmed if it exceeds 500 characters.

Type the Shadowed Word
Too hard to read? See a new image | Listen to the letters

Hint: The letters above appear as shadows and spell a real word. If you have trouble reading it, you can use the links to view a new image or listen to the letters being spoken.

(*all fields required)